Flashback: Chungking Express

Chungking Express (1994) was the Masculin féminin of the 1990s, a pop art movie about cool twentysomethings looking for love in the city that has replaced Paris as the center of the world-cinema imagination. What Jean-Luc Godard did for “the generation of Marx and Coca-Cola” in the mid-1960s, Wong Kar-wai did for restless Hong Kong youth during the anxious decade that preceded the handoff to China. Masculin féminin (1966) and Chungking Express were the first films in which their respective directors focused predominantly on characters who were around ten years their juniors. This generation gap imparts a sense of distance mixed with tenderness, and also focuses the films on the dominant issue for heterosexual young adults: how to negotiate the desire and confusion they feel vis-à-vis the opposite sex.

– Amy Taubin, Criterion.